Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare, Federal Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird and Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones today called on the Abbott Government to tell the people of the Illawarra if they are going to get the real NBN or Tony Abbott’s second rate version and when they are going to get it.
Suburbs like Bellambi, Russell Vale and Horsley were on the NBN rollout map under Labor. They were taken off the map by the Abbott Government. They have now been put back on, but residents still don’t know whether they are going to get the real NBN or the second rate NBN and when they are going to get it.
Other suburbs like Fairy Meadow and Mount Ousley were ripped off the NBN map by the Abbott Government and haven’t been put back on. Residents have no idea when they are going to get the NBN at all, let alone what they are going to get.
“Stephen and I are constantly getting questions from the community about whether they will get Labor’s super-fast fibre to the premises NBN or if they will be stuck with a second rate NBN that relies on the old copper network.” Ms Bird said today.
“I have written to Malcolm Turnbull directly to put these questions to him and asked him to provide advice as a matter of urgency.”
Jason Clare today met with NBN Action Groups from across Illawarra.
“They are very frustrated and very anxious. They know how important the NBN will be for the Illawarra. They want to know when they will get it and what they are going to get.” Mr Clare said.
“There is a real risk the Abbott Government will create two classes of people in the Illawarra - those who get the real NBN and those who don’t.”
“Access to reliable broadband is a huge and ongoing issue for a lot of newer suburbs in regions like Tullimbar, Horsley and Albion Park,” said Mr Jones.
“I’ve been working on getting the NBN to these premises for the past two years because many residents don’t even have access to basic ADSL. They’re being forced to rely on expensive and unreliable wireless or dial up services.”
“Fast and reliable broadband should not be a luxury in the 21st century. There are thousands of kids in my electorate that rely on it to do their homework and employers that rely on it to keep their businesses running.”
Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones also emphasised the Regional Development Australia report released yesterday, Transition: Illawarra, that highlights the importance of broadband to the diversification of the region’s economy.